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Smartphone upgrade cycles are actually shrinking in India
According to a latest survey by Counterpoint Research, mobile phone replacement cycles are shortening in India and two in three users in the country plan to upgrade to a new mobile phone in the next twelve months.
This smartphone upgrade cycle is actually a departure from an average of 24-30 months to under 20 months upgrade cycle.
The Global Consumer Insights is a primary consumer survey conducted by Counterpoint Technology Market Research through a random sample of 1500+ respondents in India.
The acceleration in intent to upgrade smartphones is driven by the need to upgrade to smartphones with 4G LTE capability as well as the desire to go for a phone with ‘better memory, storage or battery capacity.’ The survey also throws an interesting insight that almost one in three respondents were considering phones with a fingerprint sensor and better front camera as key features in their next purchase.
Per the survey, the interest in 4G smartphones is driven by VoLTE-only Reliance Jio, and the carrier’s free data plans as part of its inaugural promotions. More than half of the respondents are likely to choose Jio over any other operator for their new connection or porting from the existing one while one fourth of the respondents are likely to consider Bharti Airtel.
As expected, online is becoming the preferred channel for mobile phone purchases and seven out of ten respondents consider online stores as their preferred point of purchase, with Flipkart being the most preferred online retail platform for buying a mobile phone.
As smartphones become central to lives of a billion Indians – a majority of them mobile-first when it comes to internet access, the shortening of upgrade cycles as well as increasing 4G adoption will be music to the ears of smartphone manufacturers as well as ecosystem players, including telecom service provides and online and mobile app services.